China says it is facing serious power shortages as severe winter weather continues to cause unusually high demand for electricity. Thirteen regions have already started to ration power supplies, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
It said coal reserves were down to emergency levels and stockpiles were only high enough to generate power for the whole country for eight days. China’s economic boom has led to surging demand for electricity. The coal industry has struggled to keep up, partly because of the government’s campaign to close many small mines on safety grounds. [Full Text]
[Image: China generates more than half its electricity from coal, from AP.]